09 Aug Furry History: Kira Od’s ‘Hybrids’ Sculptures
Or maybe Furry isn’t the right word?
I spend what I assume many people would find to be a shocking amount of time worrying and thinking about why I find Fur culture and art so enticing. It’s really a lot. Of time. I think about it pretty much every time I log into tumblr. And pretty much any day you glance at my recent tumbls, you’re bound to find a couple of masturbating lions or weird wolves smoking and masturbating with bears. I don’t know. The allure of it really seems to escape definition for me personally, so I’m always on the hunt for other’s words about why they’re intrigued by giant birds with human genitals.
Sifting through old Handjobs Magazine issues today, in search of something to post here, I came across an art review (yeah, HJ used to do art reviews!) for California sculptor Kira Od‘s Hybrids series of works. I guess it’s my youthful naivety that lets me assume Fur stuff is new, as of the hardcore proliferation of the internet, but clearly that’s not the case! Kira’s sculpture dates back to 1991 and her Hybrids series to 1993-94 (I was seven!):
Ms. Od is a phenomenal sculptor and bronze-worker, even if you don’t necessarily wanna see horses with people dicks. Her rendering and obsession with detail makes these proper works of fine art, and not just strange animal heads on naked mannequins. But her artist’s statement about these works really struck a chord with me, as it might be the most coherent collection of words about people/animal mashups I’ve ever read:
Why HYBRIDS? Because Humans are animals. Efforts to tease out what sets us apart from — and makes us superior to — other species are a total waste of time. They mostly demonstrate how little we actually know about the other beings we live with. Written language and tools are handy, but they’re just what we do. Other animals have highly sophisticated forms of communication and can do things we can’t even contemplate without machines.
What gave the word “animal” a bad name was that it became a scapegoat term for our own dark side rather than a neutral word. I am proud to be an animal. In light of that, consider my HYBRIDS. Try to avoid assuming anything and take a careful look. They are not illustrations of old myths…they are the embodiment of new ones.
Be a Good Human.
I mean, wow! Be a good human, indeed.
I’m especially entranced by this human/wolf Hybrid piece. There seems to be a lot of narrative built into this one (it suggests the stressful and ultimately futile attempt to see oneself from outside to me) and the complexity of the pose is almost completely disguised by her expert rendering. Kira’s ability to study and reproduce human movement really allows this pose to appear natural and recognizable to the viewer:
If I had an additional 10 grand ( I KNOWWWWW) sitting around collecting dust, I would have to really talk myself out of ordering one of these to own. The portrayal of human masculinity and the juxtaposition with animal features in the heads and accessory features (hands, feet, tails, etc) is bordering on the detailed perfection of classical Greek ideals (but with modern sized penises), but with a subversive twist that reads (to me at least) as sexual. But that could be just me superimposing Furry ideas onto Ms. Od’s work, and not properly the intent.
Either way though, I’m still worried I might be a furry.